Call for Papers - Emotions & International Law



Event Date: 

08/25/16 to 08/26/16

Location name: 

Buenos Aires


The School of Law of the University of Buenos Aires

The School of Law of the University of Buenos Aires is hosting a Colloquium on “Emotions & International Law”, which will take place on August 25th and 26th in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The event is organized by the Permanent Seminar on the Theory and History of International Law (SEMPITHIDIA) and the DECyT Research Project “The passions of international law: Affective perspectives, States’ emotions and political feelings in the history of ius gentium”, under the direction of Prof. Emiliano J. Buis.

The law is usually conceived as a “rational” ground, a social construction that emanates from the need to objectivise passionate controversies and find discursively structured solutions to avoid the use of vengeance. Nonetheless, the "affective turn" in social sciences and humanities have made it also possible to think of law as the result of passions and therefore emotionally apprehensible. From an international relations perspective, it would seem that, in the absence of a superior authority, interactions among States are guided by their feelings and conveniences. Indeed, their behaviour seems less structured on justified reasoning than on national impulses and reactions, which are in fact complex as they rely on cognitive structures that are not limited to the sensitive dimension.

The event will mainly encompass the conceptual discussion on feelings such as hatred, resentment, compassion, nostalgia, fear, empathy/sympathy, jealousy, shame, humiliation, affection/love, among others, which are considered as possible keys of interpretation and analysis frameworks to examine international relations on a broad sense, involving States and non-State actors, as well as the generation of rules regulating them.

Suggested topics include (but are not limited to):

• Emotions throughout the history of international law and its relationship with the hegemonic construction of power.

• The role of emotions in international law-making.

• Tensions between change and stability in international law.

• History, present and emotions in transitional justice mechanisms.

• Emotions involved in the use of force and in international humanitarian law.

• The affective expression of international actors.

• Emotional readings in international scholarship.

The Colloquium is open to academics, professionals and students of international law and other related subjects. Proposals will be selected on the basis of their quality, originality and thought-provoking capacity. The submitted papers may be eventually published.

Proposals requirements: Abstracts (no more than 500 words) will be received until May 1st, 2016 and must be emailed to and The results will be announced on June 1st 2016.

Those scholars whose abstracts had been accepted are due to send their final paper (between 4500 and 7500 words, including footnotes) before August 1st, 2016. The presentations will be distributed to the other participants beforehand in order to facilitate in-depth discussions. Proposals will be received both in English or in Spanish.

For questions related to the information contained in this call for papers or the event please contact the organizers on the following e-mails:;

Summary of relevant dates: • May 1st: Abstracts deadline. • June 1st: Announcement of accepted proposals. • August 1st: Deadline for paper submissions. • August 25th and 26th: Colloquium.